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Tre'Von Spillers
Tre'Von Spillers' 18-point, 16-rebound performance paced all scorers.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Men’s Basketball Downs ETSU at Home

Renewing one of the longest rivalries in program history, the App State Mountaineers (5-2) jumped all over the ETSU Buccaneers (3-4) on their home floor and pulled out a 72-61 win for their fourth in a row. The Mountaineers never trailed in the contest.

The bench played a huge role in the win on Wednesday as nine players saw the floor for the Black & Gold and all nine scored a basket. 37 of App State’s 72 points came from its bench with Jordan Marsh and Myles Tate each tallying double-figure nights.

In a raucous atmosphere that helped fuel App State to a win, the Black & Gold shot an impressive 50% from the floor and drilled six threes, while holding the Buccaneers to just 36 percent shooting. The Mountaineers have shot over 50 percent in two of their past three games and have held their last four opponents below 40 percent from the field.

The Mountaineers led from the opening tip to the final whistle tonight, using a phenomenal first half to build a 20-point lead at halftime and never looking back. Today’s contest got started with a Terence Harcum three-ball, his ninth of the year and App State wouldn’t relinquish that lead for the rest of the game.

ETSU would tie the contest up at five apiece thanks to an Ebby Asamoah three, but the Mountaineers would score each of the next seven points to pull away from the Buccaneers as Myles Tate and CJ Huntley would each tally their first buckets of the night and propel the Mountaineers in front.

The two teams would trade baskets over the next four minutes with Spillers and CJ Huntley scoring for App State while ETSU drilled a pair of threes to trim the App State lead back to three. Braden Ilic would nail both of his two threes during ETSU’s burst.

After ETSU cut the lead down to its lowest point since it was 8-5, the Mountaineers would go on a torrid stretch to regain momentum and take a double-digit lead. App State would score 16 of the next 17 points in the game to take a 16-point lead at the 2:55 mark. Tre’Von Spillers would score nine of the 16 points during App State’s run and was a key contributor to pumping the energy into the crowd as play neared halftime.

The Mountaineers would end the half on a 22-5 run and take a 20-point lead into halftime, marking the second straight game App State has taken a 20-point lead into halftime. It was another impressive half from the field for App State as they would shoot 62 percent from the field while nailing 6-9 first-half threes. The six long-balls in the first half tied a season high for made threes in a half.

Myles Tate played a fabulous first half of basketball in Boone on Wednesday as he would notch 10 points and drill two of the Mountaineers’ six threes in the period. Tate’s first-half outburst marked his second game this season scoring double figures, which is the most he’s had in a season since his first year at Butler in 2020-21. Spillers was another first-half standout on Wednesday as he would notch a game-high 11 first-half points while going perfect from the field.

The Buccaneers would come out hot to start the second half, making four of their first five shots to cut into App State’s lead as the Mountaineers struggled early out of the break. ETSU’s Jaden Seymour, who had a quiet first half, came out of the break and nailed each of his first two shots to help the Buccaneers crawl back into the game.

An Ebby Asamoah jumper would cut the App State lead back to 12 at the under-16 timeout. Out of the break the Buccaneers would cut it to just 10 points, which was the closest it had been since it was 29-18 in the first half. The Mountaineers sluggish start to the second half and some foul trouble helped ETSU climb back into the game and make it a close battle.

App State would rattle off the next five points in the game to build their lead back up to 15 points thanks to a couple of baskets by Justin Abson and Spillers that would bring the crowd right back to its feet as App State continued to play well.

Not fazed by the crowd noise, the Buccaneers would slowly crawl back into the game using an 8-2 run to pull within single-digits of the Mountaineers with just over nine minutes to play. Poor ball handling and missed rebounds would give ETSU some momentum and generate some noise from the visiting crowd.

ETSU would keep climbing its way back on Wednesday as they would continue to make timely baskets and feed off the Mountaineers’ mistakes. The App State lead would be cut to just eight points after a Karon Boyd layup, which would be the closest the game would get in the second half.

Reclaiming their composure, the Mountaineers would right the ship and push their lead back to double-digits thanks to a tough layup by Marsh and timely free throw shooting. Marsh provided a necessary spark off the bench as he would record a huge blocked shot on a Quimari Peterson layup attempt that would have cut App State’s lead to just nine points a few possessions later.

The Buccaneers needed to foul to have a chance to stay in the game after Marsh’s block, but App State shot it well from the free throw line on Wednesday and sealed the deal in a tight contest. The Mountaineers would shoot 20-26 from the line and nail seven of their last eight to close it out.

App State’s win on Wednesday against the Buccaneers marks the first three-game winning streak for App State against ETSU in over 20 years. App State won six in a row from 1996-99. The win also marks the fourth consecutive win this season for App State, which is the longest win streak since the 2021-22 season.

In a gutsy win, newcomers stepped up huge and helped deliver App State to a win against a longtime rival in ETSU. Tre’Von Spillers, who made his fourth straight start on Wednesday, tallied a game-high 15 points on 6-7 shooting while also swatting away a season-high four shots. Spillers has scored at least 10 points in each game he has started. Myles Tate bounced back from a poor shooting game against Austin Peay with one of his best games as a Mountaineer, notching 12 points off the bench and a team-high five assists. Jordan Marsh provided the necessary energy to help close this one out as he would drain 6-7 free throws for the game while also swatting away a shot that threatened to cut into App State’s lead.

App State’s highly anticipated, nationally televised game against Auburn is next up on their schedule on Sunday. It will be the first nationally televised game ever at the Holmes Center and the first time a high-major opponent has visited Boone since 2000. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.